Construction Worker Stumbles Across 100-Foot Long Dinosaur Fossil
The unnamed worker was working a backhoe operator in Alberta.
The last thing you expect to come across during your workday is a dinosaur. And yet that's exactly what happened Tuesday to a construction worker in the Canadian city of Spirit River in the province of Alberta. Working on the installation of a pipeline for the Tourmaline Oil Corp., the worker stumbled across a mostly intact fossil measuring roughly 100 feet long, as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported. (CNN put the measurement of the dinosaur at 35 feet.) The worker was operating a backhoe at the time of the discovery.
The worker has not been identified in reports, and unknowingly almost turned the million-year old fossil into "mush," in the words of CNN, before realizing this was no ordinary dig. Paleontologist Matthew Vavrek was soon contacted to inspect the fossil.
"To see something like that is pretty incredible," Vavrek told CNN about the uncovering of a mostly intact fossil. "The last time I've seen something like that was in a museum. I've never found something like this before."
As proof of how fragile the fossil is, the parts that were picked up by the construction worker's shovel immediately crumbled. "You handle it carefully, or it's just going to shatter," Vavrek also told CNN.
The exact type of dinosaur has not been identified yet and the team is saying it may take months to properly remove the fossil from the site. Tourmaline has offered its workers to help remove the dinosaur fossil, which is partially buried about five feet underground, according to Time. But now that the remains have been exposed the diggers are in a race to beat the punishing Alberta winter.
The discovery is the latest in a long line of stories covered by AOL Jobs of workers coming across the unbelievable during their workday. Just earlier this week, AOL Jobs profiled a British gas meter attendant who stumbled onto a four-foot long corn snake during a routine check. The worker was stuck for an hour inside the basement of an office of the British heart foundation with the harmless reptile before he was rescued.
Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.
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